When the Wheels Wobble

IMG_0312This morning, the wheels were wobbling on my walk of faith. I pulled out my spiritual roadside assistance card and called my spiritual mentor. We talked for some time and ended our conversation with prayer.

I then spent time in scripture until I found three verses that addressed my pain. Each verse was carefully written in my notebook. The notebook was then placed on the passenger seat of my car.

At each red light, I read those verses (luckily I have my “Honk if I’m reading” bumper sticker). Before getting out of my car, I read each verse.

The wheels are still wobbly this evening but the path appears just a bit smoother.

When our walk of faith is wobbly, my prayer is for us to remember we are not alone.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Deconstructing

DSCF3301-1For the past week, I have been searching for a word to help me write this post. This week, another mega-church imploded which deservedly, made the national news.

Deconstruction.

One of the devotional days in my next book is about the fracture in our faith foundation. I write about how within the church, we can’t seem to get along.

Deconstruction.

I am seeing this more frequently on social media and in the mainstream press. Articles written to point out the (sometimes obvious) faults of a particular person or institution.

Personally, I am very familiar with the process of deconstruction. I deconstruct myself way too often which I have shared with you here as I continue my walk of faith.

I have also been searching for a word to counter this painful process.

Create.

One of my wonderful friends lives a very creative life! She decided to ditch her corporate career and follow her creative calling. She is a nationally known author, artist, speaker and a creativity coach! She realized how harmful the deconstructive process is and how liberating creativity can be!

Create.

Create something better! Create something that will excite people to join you! Create something positive which is a building block…not a wrecking ball.

How do we move from the damage of deconstruction to the encouragement of creativity?

First, stop deconstructing. When we find ourselves walking down that dark path, simply stop. Stop in that moment to thank God for your realization and ask for guidance in turning around!

Second, spend time reading reaffirming scriptures and writings which lift our spirit and inspire us.

Third, associate with people who are positive and creative builders.

My prayer for today is one of healing. There is a fracture in the faith foundation and without each one of us being involved, it will continue to grow.

So then, encourage one another and build each other up as you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Every Now And Then

DSCF3192It was a challenging week. After work yesterday, I asked the cashier if it was Thursday or Friday? “Friday, thank God” was her reply, delivered with just a hint of a southern accent.

I have talked with her several times and never noticed an accent. When I asked her where her accent came from, she replied, “it just happens every now and then.”

It just happens every now and then, said without a tinge of twang!

Although I enjoyed how she said what she said, I left the store thinking about “thank God.”

As I looked back on my week, I realized I was not especially thankful. Her comment allows me to begin my weekend with a new and improved perspective.

My prayer for us is to give thanks every day…not just every now and then.

There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person.”

- Joyce Meyer

 

That Will Be Difficult

DSCF3697I had a long conversation today with a very grumpy person. Actually, it wasn’t too much of a conversation since most of the time I was simply listening.

I could relate to this person because he was going through something I am familiar with…beating himself up over something that had already passed.

During the entire time, I maintained a positive tone.

At the end of the conversation, I sincerely said, “Have a good day.”

He paused and said, “That will be difficult (I then heard him take a deep breath) but, I’m going to try.” His, “I’m going to try” was said with a bit of enthusiasm.

Thank you for being here during the times when I have shared my struggles…when I fall short on my walk of faith. I want to let you know today was a good day!

Sometimes being a gentle witness is more about listening and something as simple as wishing someone to have a good day.

I hope you all have a good day!

“Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..”

James 1: 19

When I Get Around To It

IMG_1016While wandering around Cracker Barrel last week, I noticed some Christmas items. From what I was told, by my next visit  all things Christmas should be on display! In years past, I would start complaining about how it’s too early. I would grinch around the stores with holiday bah humbug!

Not anymore!

I already bought a present and plan to do more shopping this weekend!

As I think about this time of year, I am aware of how fast time now seems to pass for me. My Mom always said she could not believe it…how the years could have gone by so quickly. Didn’t I just carefully pack the tree ornaments and take down the lights?

There are many things I want to do and people I would like to see.

When I get around to it.

This year, every time I see a Christmas display in a store, I want to remember how fast time is passing. I will use the displays as a reminder to see how I’m doing with my plans and good intentions.

With a prayer for all of us to appreciate each day…Merry Christmas!

 

Thank You Pastor Chris!

IMG_0468This morning, I am borrowing an idea from Pastor Chris which was on his blog today. Recently, while visiting his niece, he was asked if she could have a “shout out” on his blog. Thanks to his niece, Pastor Chris is considering making “Shout Out Sunday” part of his ministerial encouragement as way to reflect upon people in his life.

Thank you Pastor Chris!

Pastor Chris: I have known Pastor Chris for more than ten years and have been richly blessed by our conversations and observing his walk of faith. He describes himself as a behind the scenes person who has a calling to “maximize” the lives of people around him. While working behind the scenes during the week, he is very visible on Saturday night services as he greets people in his spot…where we know he will be…by the stairs in the lobby. Last night, I didn’t say hello to Pastor Chris…I just watched from a distance as people came up to him. Each person was greeted with a smile, a hand shake or hug. God allowed me to receive another word for Pastor Chris last night as I observed him. Comforter. Thank you, Pastor Chris!

Father Bert: I first met Rev. T. Albert Lawrence when I was in jr. high school. He was the director of the summer camp I attended in Avon Park, Lake Byrd Lodge. In my first book, I wrote “Summer Parents-Some Are Not” to honor Bert and his wonderful wife Amy. While in high school, Bert hired me to work at the camp. To this day, we laugh when we recall those days. When he asks how I am doing, I tell him “I’m a mess.” And then he laughs and says, “You have always been a mess.” Once a year, we have a counselor reunion at Bert’s house on the lake to reminisce about the camp and all of the hearts we touched over the years. Bert’s love of God is reflected in his love of people. Thank you, Father Bert!

Ken and Sandy: In my writing, I share how I walked away from faith for many years. One of the foundations of Discovering and Sharing Grace is being a gentle witness and extending a kind and gentle invitation for people to join us in church. I politely declined their invitations for a long time. However, they continued to pray for me and knew at some point that God would whisper. Humble and faithful servants, Ken and Sandy provide spiritual inspiration as they lovingly share their walk of faith. Thank you, Ken and Sandy!

Thank you Pastor Chris and give a shout out to your niece for me!

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”

2 Corinthians 9:15

In Some Way

IMG_0312While watching No Country For Old Men last night, I continue to be amazed by lines I missed in my previous viewings.

At a reflective point in the film, sheriff Bell makes the following statement: “I always thought when I got older God would sort of come in to my life in some way.”

During this entire movie he faces events that were unimaginable early in his career.

I have talked with people who don’t believe God is in their life. Some have lost faith because God didn’t seem to be present when they needed Him most. Some feel like sheriff Bell when he makes his next statement: “He didn’t.”

We have an opportunity to listen to people who feel like sheriff Bell. During these conversation, perhaps we can share how God worked behind the scenes in our personal situation. Perhaps sharing how we didn’t see God’s presence in a situation until long after it passed.

My prayer for today is for us to have conversations of faith, hope and love as we continue to discover and share God’s grace.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4: 12